Asked if he believes Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza, Borrell: ‘I’m not a lawyer’

The EU’s top representative, Josep Borrell, avoided directly accusing Israel of war crimes in its deadly attack on the Gaza Strip – which has killed more than 13,000 people – in an interview with Qatar’s Al Jazeera Arabic channel. .

“Do you think what Israel is doing are war crimes?” the interviewer asks in Arabic, implying the 27’s position. And several countries have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate. Borrell adds that “what happened on the border between Gaza and Israel, with Hamas, should be considered a war crime, but what is happening in Gaza should be analyzed according to international law (…) I am not a lawyer, but the number of victims, especially among children, is very is high”.

After this statement, the host asks Borrell: “Is it the EU’s position that what Hamas did on October 7th is a war crime?” And the representative of the European foreign policy directly answers: “Yes, we consider it a war crime, because the civilians were obviously killed for a reason other than being there.”

“How can you be so clear when it comes to accusing Hamas of war crimes, but when I asked you about Israel, you said you’re not a lawyer?” asks the visibly annoyed journalist, adding that many blame the West for this reason. from the use of “double standards”. “No, we don’t have double standards,” calmly answers the top representative of European diplomacy. Borrell adds that based on what he has personally seen, the massacres in Gaza “could be war crimes,” but he reiterates that “it is for the International Criminal Court to decide whether they are.”

“We try to use the same principles and say the same thing: civilians must be protected, hospitals must be protected (…), schools must be protected, and this is always our message,” Borel says in his defense, adding that “from the first moment” He condemned the total blockade of Gaza and the deprivation of the most basic goods for its residents.

Nevertheless, during the interview, the head of European diplomacy reiterates Israel’s “right to self-defense”, as several European leaders and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have repeatedly stated. Since the start of the war in Gaza, Borrell has been one of the European leaders who has taken a tougher stance on Israel, compared to von der Leyen’s less critical position.

Source: El Diario

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